feature image credit to Per Ole Hagen
Welcome to the first installment of BPM: Booze Paired with Music – a brief exposé on artists, popular or obscure, to suit your need for beats. Along with it, we offer a little treat to make for yourself while you bask in the sound of glory and a drink well done. As a former DJ, violinist, aca-bopper, and hip-hop dancer, I try to bring you as much variety in artists and commentary as I can. Listen on!
Artist: Kate Boy
Cliffnotes: Urgent, dark, and strong.
Same Aisle As: Grimes, The Knife, Lissie.
Scandinavian countries have no problem consistently producing some really grade-A dance music. It must be something in water (or snow?) because Kate Boy is no exception; the members of this quartet hail from Sweden and Australia. Though their frontwoman Kate Akhurst seems to take the lead, the band is named for a fictitious fifth member representing the egalitarian approach the band uses to writing and composing songs. They comment, “Even the name Kate Boy, it’s this kind of androgynous thing we loved, a person who isn’t female or male and who’s the fifth member of the band.”
Kate Boy hits you with punchy vocals reminiscent of The Knife with instrumentation similar to Grimes. With only a few releases to date, each song shows slick use of synthesizers, thoughtful placement of percussion, and vocals that really call the listener to attention. All these amazeballs sounds are slathered on top of some refined yet grungy musical foundations. The musical progressions are pop-friendly, but have a electropop edge to them. My favorite, “The Way We Are,” really conveys a sense of urgency in what the speaker is saying: LISTEN TO ME GAHTDAMMIT.
This is one of those songs that really grabs your attention right away. The chorus has a repetitive, ascending line that feels climactic and expansive. This is not a calm song, and I think it’s got a real defiant vibe to it. You know that epic rainfall that happens when you’ve just broken up with that one human that you’ve really been putting off doing for a long time and you just left their house and then it starts to rain to wash your regrets away? You know? And then they’re like “no come back” and you’re like “naw I got places to be bye.” Nawmean?
Anyway, yeah, like that has never happened to me more than twice. I digress. Kate Boy’s other two songs are slower in tempo, but just as exciting. They are pop with the fizz, but a darker side to its sound. In order to showcase that darker element, I give you a whiskey version of the “Dark and Stormy.”
- 1 1/2 oz bourbon
- 4 oz ginger beer
- 1 oz dark cola
- Squeeze of lime
- Muddled lime wedge
- Crush and muddle a lime wedge in the bottom of a glass.
- Mix remaining ingredients and stir well in glass.
- Garnish with lime wedge.
Extra credit: (I mean, they only have 3 songs out…):
For Spotify users, here’s an ongoing playlist that compiles all the listed tracks of this column into one playlist: